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So, I was reading this book on mystical exercises. One of the… - John [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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[Oct. 20th, 2004|12:43 pm]
So, I was reading this book on mystical exercises. One of the exercises is "I have no head".

It goes like this. Point to the far wall. Focus on what your finger is looking at.

Now, draw it down the wall (keep focusing where your finger is pointing), to the corner at the floor, across the floor to your feet, then up your body to your breastbone, and then above... and what are you looking at?

There's nothing there. There's just an accepted idea in your mind that you *would* be looking at something if you could pop your eyes out of your head, and focus them on where your finger is pointing.

I pondered that for a while, and as I was driving (kids, don't try this at home, or in the car; I'm a professional weirdo, remember!) thinking about the zen idea that it is not the earth that moves, but the mind that moves the earth. As I watched the other cars and the landscape go by, it suddenly hit me.

Here's another way to look at it. You're playing a 3D first person game on your computer. You 'move forward'. What happens? A computing device creates a huge number of images that give the appearance that you're moving forward, right?

What happens when you're walking?

A computing device (your brain) creates a huge number of images that give the appearance that you're walking forward.

"But I really am moving forward!" you might insist.

But, to think that, your brain must be moving the universe. If your brain was not moving the universe, you wouldn't be seeing any different visual images. You really are moving the universe!

Okay, you might say, that's cute as a mind game, something to make a person go "whoa! Heavy!" (and potentially to say "Hey, give me another hit of that stuff!"), but what does it *mean*? What's it's point?

I'm not sure. Not yet. But I realize that we *all* see the universe in this way, with ourselves as the center; we all, in a real sense, move the universe with our minds. In a real sense, we all have to create the universe from scratch every time we open our eyes.

Maybe it's just something to make me go "whoa... heavy!" Or maybe it's more.

I do know that many people think these altered state of thought and consciousness have value, and I think I want to find out what that value is.

[User Picture]From: blackthornglade
2004-10-20 07:53 pm (UTC)
It's more. *grins*

You're taking the first step on a long journey of realizing that the universe around us is really bound by our brains and ability to perceive. That perception is trained into us and filters set up by our cultures.

When you are able to get past those filters, you are able to bend the universe. Or yourself. Or both.

It all depends on how you look at it. *grins*

(Reply) (Thread)
From: kightp
2004-10-21 06:10 am (UTC)
Oh, darlin', wait till you come see Copenhagen. You just gave a reasonably good paraphrase of the entire second act: Heisenberg's uncertainty principle as a metaphor for human cognition.

This isn't just Zen, it's quantum physics!
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